Walking Cricket and Why it Matters
Maybe more than any other sport, Walking Cricket is about togetherness, something that has been largely missing from many of our lives this past year. Since Walking Cricket sessions have started again, we have seen the huge relief and pure joy that our participants felt upon being able to play the sport together again. Many Walking Cricketers joined the sport for fitness but have found that the social benefits are what really matter.
“I joined to recover some fitness, lose weight and meet people. For some time my health has had a big impact on my life and with lockdown I became very unfit, overweight, isolated and anxious. Previous attempts at finding routes into fitness in a safe environment had failed and I saw walking cricket as an opportunity for positive change in my life.”
Walking Cricket is not just about the physical benefits or winning the game, its about the team spirit, developing new relationships and maintaining good mental health. Of course the development of cricket skills is also a great achievement but it is often the enjoyment of the activity and each other’s company that motivate our participants to come back every week. The inclusive nature of the Walking Cricket project means that everyone feels welcome to give it a go no matter the ability levels.
“Having played cricket in the past, I found the game very easy, except the instinct is to run after the ball until I got it in my head to walk. The game is inclusive and stretches me enough to be of benefit without causing injury.”
It might seem absurd to think that one session of Walking Cricket a week makes much of a difference. For most participants however, this project has not only created an accessible way to improve fitness but an invaluable opportunity that has given our cricketers something to look forward to.
“I desperately needed something positive in my life to gravitate towards and without this, my life would still be a meaningless daily grind of despair and hopelessness. It’s only one day a week, but that one day has given me hope that my Autumn years won’t be cold and empty.”
With extensive hygiene measures in place, Walking Cricket allows vulnerable participants to get out of their homes and enjoy an activity whilst socializing and creating new friendships. Some participants were even able to rekindle their love of cricket through this modified version of the sport and restart a hobby that was inaccessible to them beforehand.
“I have lost some weight, met new people, I’m still feeling anxious, but less so and I’ve rekindled interest in an old hobby I didn’t think I would ever play again. Corona virus was turning me into a hermit, but after playing walking cricket with all the social distancing and sanitizing measures in place, I feel more comfortable in leaving the house and mixing with others. I used to work outdoors and love being out in the fresh air, so playing outdoors in good weather is great. With the option of playing indoors during the colder months, I can keep up my fitness regimen to achieve my optimum weight whilst developing relationships with others. It’s great to be part of a team again and I feel motivated to continue playing.”
Walking Cricket gives participants what so many of us have longed for during the Coronavirus pandemic – a way to remain active, socialize safely and most importantly a means to enjoy each other’s company, have a laugh and create new friendships.